Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Just Breathe...


Today I had to take a break from fashion and style to talk about some unsettling news. Last night my 25 year sister called to say she was considering getting her post-doctorate. For most this would be great news, but for my family there is mixed emotions because big sis has been in school all her lifeeee. But then I got to thinking most of my friends are getting some type of post degree after their bachelors, law school, med school, masters. Even I when I decided to go into fashion after my bachelors, I didn’t just hit the pavement and do grunt work and work my way up, which is the traditional fashion path. I went to school to learn what I could have learned by getting a yearlong subscription to Vogue (actually I'm forever grateful for my time at Parsons). For most Black women, getting degrees is what we do best. Degree after degree. My only concern is, are we missing out on life? I want to know if our counterparts, Becky and Sue are doing the same thing...

It seems as though most of us hit the ground running as soon as when get into high school (maybe sooner). We made great grades, was the president of every club, while Becky and Sue were on the cheerleading squad and throwing parties when their parents were out of town (Am I the only one whose parents were NEVER went out of town?!) Then we get to college and it’s the same thing, great grades, presidents of clubs, study groups. Where’s Becky and Sue? Keg parties and sorority functions (even black women who join sororities do so to NETWORK, we are constantly on our grind!). Then after college we go straight to work for some type of major firm or start our own businesses. Becky and Sue, you ask? Back packing through Europe, rubbing elbows with socialites, snorting coke, trippin off LSD (trust me, you'll be surprised how many young professional women do white collar drugs). Now I’m not saying Becky and Sue wont get it together. When they get back from Europe and off their high, they’ll settle down, get their degrees and their corporate jobs. But the point is they’ve LIVED. For whatever reason we push ourselves and don’t give ourselves a break (TO BREATHE!). We have more to loose if we don’t make it. For most of us our families are waiting for us to make it. Or even more common, we come from extremely educated families (The Cosby family is not a myth anymore) and are expected to continue the legacy. To answer my own question, I don’t think we are missing out on life, we are MAKING a life. So what do I tell my sister? Hmm I tell her maybe a post doctorate isn’t a bad idea, if YOU make it, then I can rub some elbows, snort a little… well you get the idea

....Your Thoughts?...

6 comments:

Michael St. James said...

hmmmm...I hated college and I thought it was a waste of time so MORE education is a no go for me. I really believe that people don't take student loans seriously until half of their salary is going to Bank of America every month. However, if your career REQUIRES additional education (i.e. lawyer, doctor, etc.), or your job is paying for it, or you know EXACTLY what you're going to do with your degree (besides hang it on the wall in your home office) then I say go for it. As far as living it up is concerned, you can do that while you're in school and/or have a corporate gig...you just have to make time for it. I don't think that most [black] people have the luxury of backpacking through Europe after college...not that I would want to. I only travel 1st class and I wouldn't even be caught dead carrying a backpack. ;-)

P.S. What does Janelle Monae have to do with this post? Oh and just breathe...life isn't that serious.

J said...

Hahah very funny Michael St. James! Is that who that is? She just looked very corporate

akb6c said...

Oh gosh, this topic really speaks to my current situation. I had no desire to go back to school after my bachelors degree. I didn't study then, why would I "study" some more?! But...after spending some time in the real world, where my undergraduate degree and this economy has landed me in an administrative position, (I got a title change and a slight raise in less than a year...but still) I'm really underwhelmed and underchallenged in my current position. Now granted, I need more work experience, everyone is struggling in this job market, etc. however my point is I'm going back for my masters...
I certainly can't wait on "mr. right" to come and sweep me off my feet, I can't continue to work at a job that doesn't live up to a UVa degree, I don't have the luxury or privilege to work for a friend of a friend, and I can't just sit around complaining, so I'm taking action and getting another degree!

Aaaaand my hope is after this degree, after some more work experience (2 yrs at most) I find an American company to send me over seas and LIVE OUT my life there...I'm focused and determined! You're also more than welcome to rub elbows with foreigners and do some recreational drugs when I'm there...

J said...

Aww congrats on going back to get your masters! Im in an admin position too so I can the rent but def gotta stay focused and determined. Overseas sounds great, ill be visiting!

J.Shari said...

We all know Blacks have to give 110% to make it in the professional world. We (black women) must take on the superwoman mentality just to be noticed. We did not have the luxury of being stay at home moms or Martha Stewarts. We were working in the fields next to our men or being mammies to some white kids while Beth and Sue whisked away to Europe. This work mentality continues today. Black women work. All the black women in my life works. I do not know of any Black stay-at-home moms or domestic princesses. I think we simply just do not know how to breathe because we are too busy giving 110% just to be on an even playing field with Beth and Sue. Breathing is a luxury I can not afford.

J said...

domestic princesses? loool